Supervisors Reach Compromise On Affordable Housing Mandates

by Shane Downing : hoodline – excerpt

Last night, moderates and progressives on the Board of Supervisors reached a compromise on how much affordable housing to require in new market-rate developments, an agreement that both prioritizes low-income families and caters to middle-class San Franciscans who don’t usually qualify for subsidized housing.

Last night’s compromise between Supervisors London Breed, Jane Kim, Aaron Peskin, Ahsha Safai and Katy Tang was a year in the making, as progressives and moderates previously locked horns on how much affordable housing to mandate in new market-rate developments.

Whereas Breed, Safai and Tang had supported legislation requiring a 18 percent requirement that targeted middle-class families, progressives Kim and Peskin pushed for a 24 percent set-aside for lower-income families…

The compromise addresses issues that were raised in 2016’s Proposition C, which required developers to sell or rent 25 percent of their new units at below-market rates. Implementing the ballot measure hinged on a yet-to-be-released feasibility study from the controller’s office…

In a related matter, supervisors unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve amendments to a proposed density bonus and height law to make it more family-friendly and take into account varying property values across San Francisco’s neighborhoods… (more)

Tables Turned: High-Paid Techies Priced Out Of Silicon Valley

by CBS : youtube – excerpt (video included)

Too much money is not working out well for any of the workers, included the techies. Around 40% are not planning to stay in the Bay Area for long. Who will live in the city when the workers leave? Who will be paying high rents when robots replace them?

How to prevent fraudulent owner move-in evictions

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The San Francisco supes start discussing fraudulent owner-move-in evictions Friday, and local tenant groups are asking that both of the bills coming to the committee be amended to include more effective protections for renters.

Sup. Mark Farrell has an OMI bill. So do Sups. Jane Kim and Aaron Peskin. The Government Audit and Oversight Committee will hold a hearing starting at 10 am on eviction enforcement, and tenant advocates plan to be there in numbers…

The two bills are aimed at addressing what everyone agrees is a serious problem: Landlords are getting rid of rent-controlled tenants by arguing that they want to move in (or let a close relative move in) to the apartment. That’s legal, for the most part – the owner of a building has the right to live in their property.

But in hundreds of instances every year, the landlord tosses out the tenant, waits a few months, and then rents the place out to someone else at a much higher price.

And there’s no easy way to stop that…

This is one of the major tenant issues of the year. The bills won’t actually come out of tomorrow’s hearing; they will be heard at a later point. But we will see the beginnings of the debate shape up… (more)

 

What Is The Market Demand For Micro Housing In San Francisco?

By Scott Beyer : forbes – excerpt

San Francisco, CA–There’s no doubt that the demand for living in San Francisco would, under an open market, create far more housing; this, in essence, is what the high prices and Nimby battles are all about. But one remaining mystery would be—void of the regulatory barriers, what type of housing would all this demand create? Existing data and anecdotal observation suggests that a lot of it would be micro housing.

Indeed, micro units—which vary by definition, but are generally thought to be studio apartments of under 300 square feet—are taking off in U.S. cities. Before Seattle’s government effectively regulated them away, they were accounting for a quarter of the city’s new housing starts. Other prominent projects have gone up in New York City, Austin, Denver, and other places where density and high prices require smaller living arrangements. The nation’s largest micro-unit project is even being built near downtown Houston, a city where big, cheap sprawl housing is still readily available, even close in (although some of the project’s units have since been converted to condo hotels)… (more)

Artists fight eviction from warehouse at SF Rent Board

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

A group of artists who are facing eviction from a warehouse in Bernal Heights have turned to the San Francisco Rent Board for help in a legal battle against their landlord.

The artists were served with an eviction notice from the warehouse on Peralta Avenue after a fire killed three dozen people in December at an artist collective in Oakland called the Ghost Ship. They have since refused to leave their space and filed a petition with the Rent Board in January, asking for greater protections from eviction under the rent control ordinance of 1979.

The decision could bolster the tenants’ argument in San Francisco Superior Court, where they are fighting an unlawful detainer case for staying at the warehouse…

The Rent Board heard their argument for more than six hours Thursday, according to Executive Director Robert Collins. He said the board has to decide whether the landlord rented the space for commercial or residential use.

“The basic issue is that they have asked the Rent Board to determine whether the rent ordinance has jurisdiction over their tenancy,” Collins said. “Was it rented by the landlord for these folks to live in, or was it a commercial tenancy?”…

Testimony accepted Thursday at the Rent Board included a March 6 letter from Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who argued in support of the tenants.

“It has long been the practice of landlords to accept rent checks while meticulously blinding themselves to the residential use of their buildings,” Ronen wrote. “The tenants keep quiet or risk exposing themselves and losing their homes while city officials are lax in enforcement of codes. These practices led to the tragic deaths of 36 people in Oakland.”

The Rent Board is expected to make a decision within six to eight weeks, according to Collins...(more)

This is a good test case to see how the courts view the living situation in a live-work environment. Is this a commercial use or residential and do they cancel each other out? In this tight real estate market we need to re-visit the concept of live-work. One space for both uses mean less commuting, less traffic and a better quality of life for the people who are paying a single rent. This is the opposite of gentrification and could even be a good way to curb the upward spiral of rents as it cuts demand for more space.

The Hidden Systems at Work Behind Gentrification

By Corin Faife : motherboard – excerpt

The cafes and craft breweries are just pawns in a much bigger game.

“Someone who learned about gentrification solely through newspaper articles might come away believing that gentrification is just the culmination of several hundred thousand people’s individual wills to open coffee shops and cute boutiques, grow mustaches and buy records. But those are the signs of gentrification, not its causes.”

So writes journalist Peter Moskovitz in How To Kill A City, a book on gentrification in America, published this week. It’s a study of four cities—New York, Detroit, San Francisco and New Orleans—that are all in the process of coming to terms with widespread gentrification, which in the case of the latter three has happened at dramatic speed…

“The most surprising takeaway I had [when writing the book] was how unsecretive and how blatant politicians had been in the past with pro-gentrification policy, especially in New Orleans and Detroit,” says Moskovitz. “The economic czar of the Detroit government actually said, ‘please bring on gentrification we need more of it’. It would sound like a conspiracy if it wasn’t laid out in plain English.”…

Part of the aim for the book, Moskovitz says, was to try and steer the conversation around housing in the US towards that which can be found in parts of Europe, where rent control measures and pro-squatting movements are more common. Towards this end, having set up gentrification as a powerful systemic force, the book closes by chronicling various resistance tactics, and outlining policy-based strategies for working towards a less gentrified future.

“I’m optimistic when I meet with activists who’ve been doing this for a long time,” says Moskovitz. “Gentrification might be a new term, but housing inequality has been going on for hundreds of years. People have been coming up up with new and inventive tactics to fight these systems for so long, and that gives me hope that these people know what they’re doing. What remains to be seen is how we can motivate all the people who haven’t started to do that work.”

How To Kill A City is out now published by Nation Books/Perseus/Hachette…(more)

 

Neighbors Ask UCSF to Help Pay for Mission Bay Growing Pains

By Noah Aroyo : sfpublicpress – excerpt

Looking to improve the quality of daily life in Mission Bay, local groups are pressing for more bike lanes, new bus routes and more green space as the city’s newest neighborhood grows.

Rather than lobby developers or City Hall, residents want the area’s dominant presence — the University of California-San Francisco — to help pick up the tab, which could be tens of millions of dollars.

UCSF will soon expand its Mission Bay campus, further crowding streets and public transit. Normally, the city would charge a private developer tens of millions of dollars in fees and taxes to pay for offsetting the long-term impact of the construction — more traffic, less parking and crowded public buses and streetcars. But because UCSF is a public institution, it is exempt from such levies. It also pays no property taxes, like all government entities and nonprofit organizations.

Residents of Dogpatch want better Muni service, more parkland, a community center and parking structures to relieve the daily scramble for streetside spaces. Top on the list: more buses…

Since September, the Dogpatch Community Task Force — community groups and staff from UCSF and City Hall agencies — have met monthly to find agreement.

The university will respond with “a comprehensive offer” at the next public meeting, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Genentech Hall at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, said Barbara French, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and University Relations. She declined to provide details, but said that the task force would be able to “help to shape the final plan.”…

UCSF’s discussions with the task force are required as part of the real estate development process. The last meeting is slated for March 21.

If UCSF sticks to its schedule, the housing project will be finished by summer 2019 and the clinic by spring 2020. 777 Mariposa St. is still under its previous owner’s lease until 2018, the earliest that UCSF can assume ownership…(more)